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Chapter 10: A Rose Is a Rose Is a Rose.

Freedom can never be a part of any establishment, and when-ever the establishment becomes too much the freedom dies. Then the bird cannot be on the wing; the wings are cut. The bird has been encaged then, in a golden cage - beautifully decorated, very costly, precious, but now the cage is more important, not the bird. And by and by people will forget the bird completely because the bird will die and they will go on worshipping the cage, and they will go on making it more and more decorative, and temples will arise around it, and a great tradition, establishment, and nobody will bother: “Where is the bird?” A dead corpse in a golden cage.

I am Hindu, if you believe in Hinduism as a bird on the wing, as the Upanishads are Hindu; but I am not a Hindu in the sense the Shankaracharya of Puri is Hindu - a dead bird in a golden cage.

If you ask Mohammedans, they will say I have no right to talk on Sufis or on the Koran. Once in a town I was talking about Sufis, and the maulvi of the town approached me and he said, “You have no right. You are not a Mohammedan, you don’t know Arabic. How can you talk on the Sufis and on the Koran?”

I said, “The Koran has nothing to do with Arabic. It has something to do with the heart, not with the language.”

The Koran has nothing to do with the language. It has something to do with silence, not language. The Koran has something to do with the reality, not with the symbols. And I am not a Mohammedan if you think that I am a follower of Mohammed - no, I am not. I am nobody’s follower. But I am a Mohammedan, just like Mohammed is a Mohammedan; just as Jesus is a Christian, I am a Christian - but like Mohammed and Jesus. Was Mohammed a Mohammedan? How can he be? - because Mohammedanism never existed before. Was Jesus a Christian? Christianity never existed before; how can he be a Christian? If Jesus is a Christian I am a Christian. If Mohammed is a Mohammedan then I am a Mohammedan. But otherwise I am not a Mohammedan and not a Christian.

A religious man does not belong to any sect. In fact, all sects belong to the religious man. But this is how the formal mind goes. He thinks in terms of ideology, language, ritual, and he misses the whole point: that religion has nothing to do with these things.

Then what is religion?

Religion is an oceanic feeling where you are lost and only the existence remains. It is a death and a resurrection. You die as you are and you are resurrected totally new. Something absolutely new arises out of the death of the old. On the grave of the old something sprouts and becomes a new flower.

Religion is an inner revolution, an inner mutation. It is not in the temples, not in the mosques, not in the churches: don’t look for religion there. If you look there you will waste your time. Look for religion inwards. And the further inwards you move the deeper you will find the ego there - which is the barrier. Drop that barrier and suddenly you are religious. There is only one thing which is not religious and that is the ego. And that can never be religious. And sects never kill it; on the contrary, they strengthen it.

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